Monday, June 23, 2003

I'm not really famous, but I'm a rock star in Japan...

My friends from Japan finally went home. They came to America almost two weeks ago for the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennesse. Afterwards their group split up. One set went down to Atlanta to spend time with Zobo. And Kohei, Menjo, and Ikuko flew north to NYC to visit me! They were some of the best visitors that I ever had. Why? Because they wanted to do very little touristy stuff. In fact their only request was to see and listen to as much live music as they could.

Last Wednesday, I took everybody to the East Village to check out some live jazz at The Detour. An old friend of mine (and his wife) are in a group called The Leisure Kings. Dave and Rachel Cuite (Dave on bass, Rachel sings) played a couple of sets while I got the Japhans drunk.

They loved eating pizza with Derek and they really enjoyed going to Brooklyn to hang out with Gil and Spider. Kohei is the lead singer and guitar player for the famous Tokyo jamband... Horse. He wanted to jam with American musicians and it was great for him to play with Gil. In the downtime over the past week, I managed to pen down a couple of songs for Horse. Last year they recorded Phreak (or sometimes listed as Freak)... and they play it at every live show! This year I came up with another hit song... this one is called: Do you like chicken?

This weekend, it was time to follow the Dead! Longtime Deadheads, the Japhans finally saw their first Dead show in Bonnaroo and were eager to see what the Dead tour looks like. They came all the way to Japan to experience the Dead vibe. It was great to be on a Dead tour again after an 8 year hiatus, and to be traveling with hardcore Japanese hippies.

Before they left, Ikuko and Menjo wrote me little notes. Here's what they had to say!!

Menjo wrote: "Hello Pauly! Every day so happy!! Arigato. Yea! From Menjo"

Ikuko wrote: "Thank you very much!! Please send me pictures. I will give you too. I had awesome time. See you next time. Bye! Love, Ikuko"

Of course we all exchagned many gifts. Ikuko gave me a cool Phish poster (for the IT festival with Homer Simpson looking for an extra ticket!). Kohei gave me a set of handcrafted chopsticks. And Menjo gave me a kimono!

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